Upon arriving in Japan, it is immediately apparent that this country has been refined. From the bows to the white-gloved taxi drivers, this is a nation that honors humanity. Public transportation runs smoothly and silently. Nobody speaks on cell-phones in close quarters.
There is a sense people understand that their actions affect others and as a result, they curb their appetites. Passing through a beehive of people in the central train station without once being bumped by another person is the norm. Parking lot attendants wear smart uniforms and direct traffic with total respect for pedestrians. Smoking is only allowed outside in designated areas and seldom do you see a defector puffing away in public.
Crossing the street is not a contact sport and cars wait obediently until all pedestrians have passed before venturing forward. It is very civilized here. I can see why for centuries, Japan didn’t feel the need for the outside world.
Text by Gregory Burns, Photographs by Angie Tan Burns, All Rights Reserved.